AT WDAIRY NEAR Madison, Ga., Everett Williams milks 1,700 to
1,800 highly productive cows three times daily. The crossbred
cows have an impressive rolling herd average for milk production
at more than 28,000 pounds per year. Williams farms 3,657 acres,
half rented and half owned.
Williams’ success as a dairy farmer has resulted in his selection
as state winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern
Farmer of the Year award. He and nine other individuals will be
finalists for the overall award to be announced Tuesday, Oct. 17, at
the Sunbelt Expo farm show at Moultrie, Ga.
WDairy shipped almost 52 million pounds of fluid milk last
year. He sells his milk through the 18-member Cobblestone Milk
Cooperative to markets from Orlando, Fla., to Virginia.
Beef from dairy cattle is a second commodity and accounts for
10 percent of his farm income. Cull cows are sold through local
livestock auction barns, and surplus cows and replacement heifers
are sold to other dairies. This helps reduce crowding in his barns
and maintains the current herd size.
Everett’s father, John Williams, started the dairy in 1958 as an
alternative to cotton. While growing up, Everett worked on the farm,
and milked cows on weekends while majoring in dairy science at the
University of Georgia. Following graduation, he managed a South
Georgia dairy before returning home to the family operation in 1978.
DOUBLED HERD SIZE
At that time, the rolling herd average was 10,000 pounds to
12,000 pounds. During the early 1980s, as individual cows
started to produce 100 pounds of milk per day, the farm
switched to milking three times daily.
When his Holsteins became too big for the confinement
2017 Georgia Farmer of the Year
facilities, he established a crossbreeding program. Holstein,
Jersey, and Swedish Red breeds now make up the three-breed
rotational cross cows he milks. “We doubled our herd size in
four years, and increased our milk production, milk fat content,
and overall herd health,” says Williams. The current rolling herd
average is 28,363 pounds with a 3.8% butterfat content.
WDairy uses the latest technology to monitor and manage
the herd. In 2012, a 72-cow carousel, or rotating parlor, was built,
along with a third freestall barn. Cows are milked in one rotation
Everett Williams named
Everett and Carol Williams.